Ice Sculptures


How cool are these photos? 🙂

It’s been snowing since around noon here in the Q, and we’re looking to get up to 3 inches in the city. I keep hearing sirens outside; there’s highway closures and lots of accidents; and I’m like, stay home people! (Unless you need Claritin-D.)

ER Horror Story

‎Donald Moore‎
December 23 at 9:17pm · Belfast, ME

I recently moved to Maine from Portland, Oregon… I have been in chronic, 24 hour a day pain for almost 15 years…

But the story I’d like to relate today happened to me last week at the St.Joseph Hospital in Bangor, Maine.

When I arrived in Maine about 3 months ago, I had about 6 weeks of pain medication remaining. I thought that, even under the worst conditions, I would be able to find a doctor to take over my treatment. I was mistaken. Because an outright “drug war” declared on Heroin and other forms of opioids declared by Governor LaPage, “opioidphobia” (not my word) has met, or surpassed Islamophobia in popularity. I waited six weeks for an appointment at a pain clinic, and after driving two hours and forking over nearly $400 of my own money, I was informed that it would be my only appointment there, as they had decided to close the practice. It’s a story that is repeating all over the United States: Doctors with hundreds of patients who come to them for the medications they need for legitimate medical conditions are closing down with little or no notice. Even as I sat waiting for my first and last appointment, three different people, coming for their monthly refills, were informed of the closure. One was in shock, one was angry and the third sat on the chair across from me and wept.

I called more pain management clinics. Several of them I spoke with were either not taking anymore patients, while several others made it very clear that they were no longer prescribing narcotic pain medications for chronic pain…PAIN CLINICS! …

So it was that I found myself forced to discontinue the regimen that had kept me a productive member of society for 15 years… As many of you know, the withdrawal symptoms were acute; I spent a better part of six weeks going form the couch to the bed to the chair to the bed in a losing battle to find some position, any position that would give me some relief from the pain. There wasn’t any.

Even though the withdrawal symptoms eventually eased, the pain didn’t. I now suffer from 8/10 to 10/10 pain that has no end. It is entirely life consuming. I can’t sleep, eat or stand long enough to shower. I’ve gone from a person who owned and operated a restaurant for 10 years, spent the last 4 years driving a cab 12 hours a day, and then drove, alone from Oregon to Maine, rented a house and moved myself in. Now I don’t go outside, can’t take care of myself, and literally stood at the bottom of the stairs and peed myself because the pain was so bad I couldn’t get to the top of the stairs.

Finally I could take no more and we drove the hour to St.Joseph Hospital in Bangor to go to the ER. In triage, I told the intake nurse that what I felt like I needed was an emergency neurosurgical consult and an MRI. My last neurosurgeon had instructed me that if I had new or worsening symptoms (the bottom of my left foot seems to have gone numb permanently, and clearly I am having some control problems with my bladder.) I told them I was scared. I told them I didn’t feel like my life was worth living this way and I felt like what I really needed was to be admitted to a hospital until a solution could be found.


For 7 hours, during which time I was not seen by a doctor, a physicians assistant, or a nurse practitioner. After 5 hours, and more repeated requests for a neuro consult and MRI, a nurse appeared and gave me two Tylenol, and two Ibuprofen. A man with 9/10 pain and multiple surgeries on my Lumbar spine was left to writhe on a 2-inch-thick foam pad on top of a hospital gurney, without so much as a interview, physical examination, or even a visit with an M.D…

Continuing to do my best to be “calm and compliant”, I asked again for a neuro consult, an MRI, or to be admitted. Dr. Matthew Duhl, M.D. informed me that I did not meet the criteria for a neruo consult or an emergent MRI. He went on to tell me that there was no way he was going to give me anything substantive for pain and that he believed that I was using a suicide threat “as a bargaining chip to get narcotics”

Buying Claritin-D in a snowstorm

New Mexico is under a winter storm warning, beginning at noon today. While there was some blue in the sky this morning, it’s given way to one huge white cloud, blanketing everything, including my mountain. (I feel like I’m in a real-life version of The Truman Show, under a dome of fake clouds.)

Thankfully, it was time to purchase my next box of Claritin-D today, because I would’ve hated to travel during tomorrow’s bad weather.

While I was at the Walgreens pharmacy counter, I overheard the pharmacist talking to a customer on the phone about a prescription for clonazepam (Klonopin). She was telling the customer that it was too early to fill the prescription, which wasn’t due until January 11th. Then the pharmacist said that clonazepam doesn’t help with pain…  I looked at the cashier and I’m like, yeah, it does, but that’s just my opinion.

Anxiety can cause physical pain, like headaches, and everyone knows how anxiety-filled the holidays can be. And anti-anxiety medications also work as a mild muscle relaxer. So, if a pharmacist tries to tell you that anti-anxiety meds don’t help with pain, then that pharmacist obviously has very limited knowledge about the treatment of pain.

When I googled clonazepam, I got this:


It can treat seizures, panic disorder, and anxiety.

Controlled substance
Can cause paranoid or suicidal ideation and impair memory, judgment, and coordination. Combining with other substances, particularly alcohol, can slow breathing and possibly lead to death.

Most commonly used for:

Trigeminal neuralgia
A chronic pain condition affecting the trigeminal nerve in the face.

Involuntary muscle contractions that cause repetitive or twisting movements.

Ghost Or Alien?

“Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators.” Will Rogers

Yeah, but aren’t they all one and the same? 🙂


“My folks came to U.S. as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens. I was born in Boston, a citizen, went to Hollywood and became an alien.” Leonard Nimoy

“In a land of immigrants, one was not an alien but simply the latest arrival.” Rudolf Arnheim


“Babies have big heads and big eyes, and tiny little bodies with tiny little arms and legs. So did the aliens at Roswell! I rest my case.” William Shatner

(Photos taken 12/23/2015.)

This Is War

(In the future, any additional comments I make to the CDC will be added to this post.)

Your Comment Tracking Number: 1jz-8n0y-9e3t

Isn’t it odd how the comments cannot be put in date order, even though there’s an option for that? And isn’t it funny how the pro-CDC comments almost always appear at the top of the thread, even though they’re out of date order? Are the comments out of date order so the CDC can bury certain comments that it is forced to post?

And wouldn’t it be nice to know why the CDC is banning certain comments? The only rules appear to be: “those containing private or proprietary information, inappropriate language, or duplicate/near duplicate examples of a mass-mail campaign.” I’ve read hundreds of comments approved by the CDC, many of which have information that could be considered private and/or proprietary.

You know, pain patients are smarter than your average person — it’s a matter of survival. We’ve been fooled and tricked too many times to fall for the bias and discrimination exhibited by the CDC in this process. In other words, I’m not the only pain patient who believes that the CDC has already approved the guidelines and the only reason for allowing comments at this point is for the sake of appearance.

Your Comment Tracking Number: 1jz-8n0y-cuca

Are guns the answer for pain patients? I was just wondering if the CDC has found a correlation between the creation of its opioid guidelines and the increase in gun sales. Because I’m thinking that some pain patients have already given up on having their pain adequately treated and have chosen the only other alternative. After all, it’s both cheaper and easier to buy a gun than it is to access pain medications.

Your Comment Tracking Number: 1jz-8n13-p39u

The ghosts of Robin Williams, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, and Scott Weiland want to remind the CDC that their deaths had nothing to do with the treatment of chronic pain. (See, even the dead can tell the difference between drug addiction and chronic pain.)

Your Comment Tracking Number: 1jz-8n2b-w4cw

For the last year, I’ve been collecting the stories of pain patients (including cancer patients) and posting them on my blog (All Things Chronic) under the category “Voices of Pain Patients.” Most of these stories weren’t found in media articles, but in comment sections from all over the internet. (The latest one is entitled “ER Horror Story,” and it will put the fear of god into an atheist.) If the CDC is really serious about creating the most effective guidelines, it will take the time to read these stories.

Today is 12/28/2015, and as of this date, only one of my comments has been approved for posting at the CDC website. Makes you wonder how many other comments have been banned. And it looks like I need to stop using my name when making these comments — perhaps my comments would have a better chance of being posted if they are made anonymously.

January 3, 2015!docketDetail;D=CDC-2015-0112

Your Comment Tracking Number: 1k0-8n6u-4je0

Who will the CDC listen to, grieving parents of overdose victims or chronic pain patients? Which group will be allowed to have their pain treated? Will the CDC enact regulations that will satisfy a grieving parent’s need for revenge, or a pain patient’s right to have access to all treatment options?

Your Comment Tracking Number: 1k0-8n6u-6eyc

It’s easy to see the two major groups commenting on the CDC’s regulations:  pain patients and those grieving the loss of a loved one who suffered from drug addiction. Am I the only one confused as to which group these regulations are really aimed at? Is the CDC attempting to standardize the treatment of drug addiction or the treatment of chronic pain? Or has this agency decided that these two conditions are one and the same and should be treated the same?

January 7, 2016

Your Comment Tracking Number: 1k0-8n9g-elns

This Is What Desperation Looks Like:

Yes, this is my wrist, scarred by pain and desperation. These scars represent days when my pain was at a level 10, not attempts at suicide. See, I’ve read that cutting releases endorphins, and those endorphins can decrease pain. (I also saw it on an episode of House, one of my favorite TV shows.) And as I’ve tried almost every other way to manage my pain, I thought it was a good idea to try this one. I mean, if I’m willing to try treatments like hypnosis, why not something like this?

Of course it didn’t work. The cutting just left scars, which I used to be embarrassed about, but now I rarely even notice. These scars are like my stretch marks from pregnancy — they show what this old body has been through. They are like… badges of courage.

Today is a bad pain day for me, and I confess that I’ve thought about trying to release some of that pain by causing myself more pain — attempt to distract myself from the pain in my head by causing pain in another part of my body. In theory, it should work. But in practice, it doesn’t help — nothing could distract me from this level of pain. I know that, but sometimes, desperation doesn’t make any sense…

Was your comment censored by the CDC?

This is an invitation to anyone (like me) whose comment was censored by the CDC:  If you can find my WordPress blog, I will be happy to post your comment, or you can email it to me at (Censorship is for countries like Russia and North Korea, not the good ‘ol U. S. of A.)

Your Comment Tracking Number: 1jz-8n0v-eywi